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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  February 22, 2014 3:30am-4:01am EST

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in cash. light shade arrived us not to say how much. one day's take from over 400 pot shops. >> just time to show you the home page of our website aljazeera.com. that is the dress. aljazeera.com. from our own. detroit's debt debacle could pull some people out of retir retirement and back to work. and maintaining good credit starts when you're young. i'm ali velshi. and this is real money. >> this is real money. you are the most important part of the show. join our live conversation for the next half hour on twitte activity
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@aj real money and this week we've seen protests explode into violence, thailand, venezuela, and ukraine. now these are different countries with their own unique issues, but the common thread in all of them is economic issues that americans understand well. widening disparities in income. perception that the system is stacked against people who want to exploit opportunity who want to improve their lives. it's a battle between entrenched economic interests. in thailand urban protesters in bangkok accused the government of corruption by using taxpayer money to buy millions of rural votes to keep itself in power. on the other side a rural farmers in thailand's north who say they depend on government subsidies for rice and other crops just to get by. protesters demand that prime minister shinawatra be removed from office and new elections be held. in venezuela student-led protests are demanding that
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president nicholas maduro step down. saying it has deployed it's own wealth but mismanagement of nationalized oil industry has led to massive drops in production. that's hurt the economy and led to a shortage of goods and decline in living standards. like the thai protest movement elements in the middle class are coming out to join the street protest in caracas and in other cities. and protests in ukraine began after the government backed out of a trade pact with the european union under pressure from its neighbor, russia. increase trade with the european union would boost opportunity in ukraine's western province, but industry in ukraine's eastern province depend on russia for supplies. they've used natural gas to drive that point home. president viktor yanukovych has
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stepped down and that has divided ukraine from its east and it's west. mary snow has more in. behind the revolt in ukraine a fight for a better future and universal human rights. while there are many divisions among ukrainians of how to go about that, they say there is one underlying factor. >> they all agree on one thing, and that's economy. that the economic model practi practiced up until recently by the yanukovych regime is equally oppressive to all of them. >> fueling anger ukraine failed to modernize it's industries in its post soviet era. many businesses were close busio close after prohibitive tax codes and young people have left the country in droves, mostly immigrating to europe. >> what is happening in the
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economy is that 20 people have become very rich, billionaires, and they have taken over the bankthe bigsoviet enterprises ad agriculture on the great scale now. while most of the population are doing quite poorly. >> gdp per capita is roughly $7,300. that's about one-third of neighboring poland, and about one-seventh of the united states. and when comparing ukraine to russia there is a big difference among its population. >> why are ukrainians revolting and not russians? the answer would be that russia has done so much better economically than ukraine. so the people are reasonably happy with their material well-being while the ukrainians have no reason to be happy with their material situation. [ protesting ] >> the breaking point aim came over the failed european union agreement with a country divided
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and an economic battle over whether ukraine's future should be tied with russia or the european union. mary snow, al jazeera. >> well, if the violence in ukraine does stop, and a political settlement does hold ukraine's economic problems won't go away overnight. joining us is vice president and director of the international security at the atlantic council. he season his tim --he spends his time forecasting global trends. these are separate issues, different countries, but think about this, in ukraine, a failed agreement triggered protest. in thailand, failed subsidies triggered protest. and venezuela, not enough money coming in triggered protest. is there something that you see that is in common between these three? >> yes, i do, thank you very much. it's the age of people power.
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number one, for the really first time in human history anyone anywhere can find out what's going on anywhere else. there is this global awareness. and people see what others have. they see rights. they see dignity. they see economic activity, they see prosperity and they want this. that's number one. number two, because of social media they now have the power to organize people who think just like them, and they can organize in a way that gets around state authorities in many cases. so even just 15, 20 years ago if you wanted to organize a protest movement you had to go door to door. you had to make a series of phone calls. you had to post a piece of paper on a bulletin board. now through facebook and twitter you can get thousands, hundreds of thousands even millions on the street in a way that is organized and can really outpace the power of the state. >> and then third there is a long-range trend of the rice of the global middle class.
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for the first time in human history by 2030 most people in the world will be in the middle class and fewer people will be in lower classes. this is unprecedented, and this middle class, this ga gargantuan middle class will have rights and dignity and the things that middle class sector gets and deserves, and they're going to want it. we'll see this spreading in lots of places. i think this is an states. a lot of these trends are in our interests and reflect our values. >> what is the best thing then that the united states can do about any of these? >> there is a lot that the united states have to do because this is a very different world than the last time the international order was shaken up. there are a lot of changes. instead of focusing on stability and keeping everything the same, there is too much change, too much tumult, too much chaos. we have to look at these changes
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and we have to try to arrest necessary --try to harness these changes to our advantage. there is a lot going on. first we have to track them and harness them for the good of all of us. >> we'll come back and discuss the specific plans that you can outline for us to help us be on the right side of this. thank you. >> we'll talk about economic and social change. detroit, while it thinks it has a than to get out of out of debt it may squeeze retirees back into the workforce.
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>> detroit's long awaited blue point to exit bankruptcy is targeting cuts to pension and
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deeper cuts to bond holders. plans laying out how to restructure an estimated $18 billion debt load. bisi onile-ere has the latest details and she joins us from detroit. what does this mean? >> all i can tell you is that these proposed cuts to the pensions come as a major blow to the retirees. thousands of retirees, those who are general city retirees they could be hit especially hard. they could see their pensions reduced by 30%. this is a hard, hard blow because for a lot of people this is their sole income. any loss of income they could lose a whole lot. this afternoon i had the opportunity to speak to a retiree whose name is donald smith. he spent 29 years working for the city. every month he gets $800 in his pension for his pension from the city. and he said that if this is approved, if these cuts are approved that could drop to $500.
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that's money that he at this point couldn't stand to lose. a lot of emotions and opposition, but it's important to note that this plan is just a proposal. it's not a done deal. i'm told that the thousands of creditors are still meeting with city lawyers. they're trying to come up with some sort of settlement. we're likely to hear about more changes to this plan. it could be months before it lands on the judge's desk. >> bisi, you see it there, and it is a tough problem that in the end not everybody is going to be happy with one way or another. bisi, good to see you again. thank you for being with us. the city stops healthcare coverage for retirees on march 1st. with pension cuts coming soon, a retired fire captain said he has got to go back to work to make ends meet. he has served the city of detroit for 35 years. he said he never thought to go back to work at the age of 62. he joins us from his home in michigan.
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thank you for being with us. is this outcome and as bisi said it's not settled, but if it's something like what is seems to be, what is this going to mean for your life? >> well, i'm going to have to pay my own medical, which is close to $1,600 a month for my wife and i. they'll cut my pension 10%. i'm just going to have to do without a lot of things that i have now. mostly i'm worried about the money part because i don't have money coming in. i have applied at different places, like costco. i've applied four times, they haven't called me back. at 62 years old, they have other people to choose from. i'm concerned about getting hired. if i have to go back to work i will go back to work. >> look, in a high unemployment place you're competing against kids. you're competing against a whole bunch of other people. what are your friends or people you know in a similar situation,
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what are they facing? >> they're really worried because my driver when i was in the fire department, he was crushed by a wall. he's paralyzed from the waist down, they want to cut his pension and give him no medical. what is he supposed to do. i'm 62, i can go out and get a job but he's paralyzed from the waist down. my friend was killed, and his wife has six kids, and he gets firefighters pension, how is she supposed to live on $2,400 a month with no medical and six children. >> are you and those people you talked about, are they--do you think they're represented well in these negotiations? because it's your interest plus bond holders. >> no, they are not. >> tell me what you feel about that?
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>> i think the workers who were dedicated to you for 35, 40 years who put their lives on the line, tell the banks, they have the money. let them do without don't tell this poor kid who has $2,400 a month coming in tell them to take a hike. >> you know the situation. you know what has happened in droid. you were there for 35 years. you saw it hollow out. is there a way out for detroit? >> yes, if they make the city where it's livable where people can come back and work and send their kids to safe schools, have a business, yes. but i'm not going to see it in my lifetime because there is so much damage to the city that's been done over the years arson, fires, businesses moving out, it will take time and a lot of money to rebuild it, but it can be done. i won't see it in my lifetime. >> we do a lot of stories of businesses coming in to those
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tough areas and starting up. it's small, but i think the trend is in the right direction, do you see that? >> yes, i think it's in the right direction but it will take a lot of money and a lot of people coming back to the city to make it viable where you can have businesses and families to make a tax base. that's what happened. the tax base is gone now. i understand the city's position. they have no tax dollars because all the business and people have moved out because it was such a dangerous city. >> it was such a great city, i hope it will be again and they can find a way to deal with economic problems and to make sure that your colleagues and you get rewarded for the work that did you in the time that you put in. good luck. we hope this has a good outcome for you. retired fire captain from the city of detroit. >> thank you very much. >> your financial future is in your own hands. i'll show you how to avoid messing it up.
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>> no doubt about it, innovation changes our lives. opening doors ... opening possibilities. taking the impossible from lab ... to life. on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life. on al jazeera america >> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep.
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>> its unbiased, fact-based, in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news. >> so many americans have gotten into trouble with their debt over the years. even "saturday night live" found huger in it. >> do you know that millions of americans live with debt they cannot control. that's why i developed this unique new program to manage their debt. it's called do not buy stuff that you cannot forward. >> that was funny in 2006 but not so funny in 2008. when they decided to combat
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credit illiteracy among young people with a savvy credit festival along with the bankers association. i hosted the festival and came away impressed by the finalist teams who created 3 30-second public service announcements commercial, mainly. i'm joined by the young filmmakers whose entry came in second but caught my attention. jessica and oswald and christi christian, they are film students here in new york city. before we talk about it, let's roll the video you guys produc produced. [♪ music ]
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[♪ music ] >> congratulations, guys, you were up agait a lot of videos that were submitted by young in many cases by the public andd professional pple whhad work worked in finance and finance urnalism, you came in close, you came in second. you're not financialerts. >> no. >> so it was a project. >> yes. learning anything about credit and credit building? anhabits of yours changed. >> no, i don't even have a >> anoer one of you who don't have a credit ca. >> i don't have one either. >> that might not be a bad thi thin >> a youble to exist whout >> yes. >> you do have a credit card? any bad habs? >> i try to avoid them. two of you texting, waiting for class totart, and you're talking abt the things that allow you to build credit.
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idea?ame up wi the who came up th whayou re going to tace. >> it was oswald's idea. >> we plannea really big video, but it turns out we weren't able to cut it to fit the time that they wanted. >> 30 seconds. >> yes, we ended up sitting wn and saying we have to come up with something new. everyone text. let's do a whole video of texting and the bubbles come up and people make it happen. >> to keep it simple we have to deal with this all the time. there is a lot of information but you have to keep it simple. did you talk to other people to figure out what they don't know about credit so this becomes easier? >> we didn't talk to anybody, really. we asked each other, do you know anything about credit? i knew a little bit, but not that much. >> where did you get the content? how did you know what to put? what these two would be texting each other? >> i know it's a studio thing
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because my boyfriend bought an argumen apartment and told me about all the credit score. >> fair enough, you kept it simple. than for coming and telling us about it. we're hoping young people d even their parentsill talk about how to build credit. >> getting my first crit card was likeree money. i just swiped things that i wanted. before i knew it i was in more debt than i could imagine. my low credit score kept me from getting an apartment and a job. >> part of the three member team that produced what we just saw. he joins me now. congtulations. hard won. there were few rnds of voting and all that kind of stuff, but there is something
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that you produceabout the filmhd won it. >> trying to sw peoplehat they can change their financial trajectory even if they have up and downs. having people move through the same space in different costumes, the costumes that we wear financially. >> that's interesting, and there was a message of hope, that this guy was in rough shape. he had recognized his credit and he figured out how to get back on track. do you believe that's possible? >> i do. i think if you really try hard, save money, don't spend money that you don't have. >> have you done that? >> a little bit. >> you're older than the last team. >> a little bit. >> you have a little more financial life experience. you bought a home. >> i did. i bought a home in up state. i'm coming back to school and finishing a degree and hoping for a master's degree. so with the job that i had before school i was able to save money, buy a house.
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>> did you feel like you had good financial habits going into this project. >> because of my up bringing my mother stressed on me financial things, a little bit, yes. >> congratulations to you and the team. this will be aired when movie theaters in the new york area, that's right? >> yes. >> congratulations you'll hopefully change a lot of people's habits and save people were getting in big trouble. congratulations to you and your team. i've been asking you were taught at an early age to use credit wisely? how did you learn? on facebook, sears offered me a credit card. i defaulted and my responsibility for debt paying has never peaked since then. another tweets, i wish. i had to learn the hard way. 26 and still paying the consequences of being 19 and irresponsible. tell me what you think by tweeting me at ali velshi. what do college students and
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parents need to know to build and maintain good credit. i'm joined by chris, i'm tripping all over the names today. chris lougezema. a certified credit educator. you were involved with the new york fed. >> sure, helping out throughout the years. giving them insight into making a good competition and really giving them some of the content that the students could make for their videos. >> if you're a parent, what's the worst thing that you can do that will stay with you forever. >> the worst thing you can do is to treat a credit card like it's a toy or something like that. where you're so excited you get that first card. let's say you're out with your friends and you you're going out for spring break. you say, i'll put it on my credit card, my friends will pay
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me back and they don't. they stiff you, and you're stuck. >> what are some things that are terrible that people shouldn't do. >> in terms of credit cards is a huge component of the credit score is the amount of credit that you use relative to the limit. so even something as simple as either maxing out your card or even using too much of it, more than half of it can have a significant impact on your credit score. >> if you're young and you get get $1,000 credit card limit you shoe not be thinking about running it up to the limit. >> not at all. use as little as possible, ideally less than a third of that limit, and then of course be sure to pay it off in full at the end of the month so you don't incur those interest charges. >> are there banks more supportive of young people responsebly getting credit? these days? >> i mean, from an educational standpoint there are certain credits and banks that will support financial education and that is certainly important. i think that's the important thing.
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it could be a tool, so the example of buying a home typically to be able to buy a home you need to be able to build it up. >> if i'm 19 or 20, and i'm not going to buy a home until 26 or 27 at the earliest, do i need to be worrying about building credit at 19? >> don't rush into it. a lot of people rush into it too quickly, don't know all the facts and get in trouble quickly. take that library book that maybe you had at the public library, you don't pay that back your library can send it to a collector. a $20 library fine can show up on a credit report. >> i felt those videos were pretty good. >> absolutely. >> i would be happy to see those in the theater, and i hope lots of people do. thanks. >> thank you. >> my final thoughts, and i go back to those cloudy days when america was sliding into the great recession. when ben bernanke did not catch
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on when the economy was in trouble. i could never understand why he stood along president bush to assure the american public that the economy was fundamentally sound when it was so clearly wasn't. details minutes of the 14 fed meetings that took place in 2008 have been released, and it seems that in the early days bernanke and company really had no idea how bad things really were. the minutes show that the fed worried a lot about inflation and markets but not jobs. even know most americans gained their wealth through wages, not investments. the fed wasn't even sure that the decision to let the lehmann brothers fail was the right thing to do. as it happened that was a decision that turned a normal recession into a global credit crisis and the worst recession that the world would ever see. in fairness to bernanke. no one knew how bad it would get. most people didn't care that a bang was failing. and to his credit he soon became
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the only grown up in washington, lashing rates with his central bank counterparts around the world all while congress dalyed. hcame from the bottom of the class to the most prudent student in the class. better late than never, i suppose. that is our program for today. thanks for watching. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford live from new york city. here are the stories we are following right now - live images out of kiev where a deal has been struck to stop the
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bloodshed. president viktor yanukovych and opposition leaders reached the decision on friday. protesters say they will not leave independence square until the ukraine president steps down. >> in venezuela, mass protests where nearly two weeks of anti-government demonstrations left eight dead and dozens injured. outside influences have been blamed and the government revoked the credentials of four cnn journalists. >> california's state senator ron calderon has been indicted on fraud and bribery charges. he is accused of taking $88,000 in bribes to influence legislation. his brother tom faces charges. on friday the president met with the dalai lama at the white house. china opposes the meeting warning it could damage relationships between the two
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countries. it's the third time they met with the tibetan spiritual leader. detroit unveiled plans for climbing out of an $18 billion debt. i'm morgan radford, thank you for watching. stay tuned. see you at 6am. >> there is no practical obstacle whatever now to the

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